Single Review: Eric Church featuring Rhiannon Giddens, “Kill a Word”

“Kill a Word”
Eric Church

Written by Eric Church, Luke Dick, and Jeff Hyde

An artist reaches their peak performance when their artistic ambition and creative talent are in perfect harmony.

Eric Church is there right now, and “Kill a Word” is the latest example of this. The stunning new single attempts to eradicate all that gets in the way of ideal human existence by eliminating the words that describe the barriers.

Songs that aim for utopia usually stumble along the way because they are either too preachy or too woefully naive. Church avoids this trap by zeroing in on the obstacles rather than the goal, and personalizes the proceedings by tackling what gets in the way of individual pursuit of happiness (regret, heartbreak, disgrace) alongside larger evils that destroy society as a whole (hate, fear, vice).

“Kill a Word” is about reaching for enlightenment through the back door. It’s uniquely powerful because it is subversive, a tricky balancing act that Church’s ambition and talent help him pull off.

Grade: A


  1. I bought my first Eric Church song. I’ve resisted his music so far because I just don’t like his voice. But this song …
    “Cause you can’t unhear, you can’t unsay
    But if were up to me to change
    I’d turn “lies” and “hate” to “love” and “truth”
    If I could only kill a word”
    powerful stuff, especially in view of today’s political environment. I though of this song Monday night.
    I’ll add that I admire Church’s stance against scalpers so that his fans don’t get ripped off.

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